Report: England Powerchair 2-1 Argentina
Para Lions kick off their 2023 FIPFA Powerchair Football World Cup with victory courtesy of two goals from 14-year-old Dan McLellan
England had to battle until the very end to secure an opening 2-1 win over Argentina in their first match of the 2023 FIPFA Powerchair Football World Cup.
The Para Lions have high hopes out in Australia but came up against an ever-improving Argentina in their first game of the tournament at the Quaycentre, Sydney Olympic Park.
But a goal three minutes from time from 14-year-old Dan McLellan – his second of the match – helped England Powerchair secure victory in the first of their nine group games.
England Powerchair v Argentina | Full Match
Watch the Para Lions get their 2023 FIPFA Powerchair Football World Cup campaign underway
England created the better of the chances in the first half, with both Jon Bolding and Marcus Harrison having efforts saved early on.
The Para Lions took the lead on seven minutes through a slick set-piece routine, as Harrison passed to Bolding and the captain picked out McLellan at the far post to score on what was his debut at a major international tournament.
The link-up between Bolding and McLellan – team-mates at club level with Aspire – saw the youngster have another couple of efforts saved in the opening half but then just before the interval, Argentina equalised through a penalty, as Valentino Zegarelli converted to Chris Gordon’s right.
England Powerchair struggled to get their renowned passing game going against the impressive Argentina defence as the South Americans increased their attacking threat in the second half.
But the Para Lions managed to finally break down the Argentinian defence to score the winner with just three minutes remaining after a passage which involved some impressive play from all four players.
After Gordon had sent his side on their way with a fine pass, Bolding released Harrison on the left-hand side and after the Scouser had let the ball run across him, he cut it back to Bolding on the edge of the penalty area and the captain once again picked out McLellan at the back post to score a dramatic late winner.
England’s focus now turns to Monday’s double header against the Republic of Ireland (11.30am AEDT/1.30am BST) and Denmark (2.30pm AEDT/4.30am BST).
You can watch all of the matches at the 2023 FIPFA Powerchair Football World Cup live across two different YouTube channels based on whether the matches are on Court A or Court B, with the full schedule found here.
England: 7 Chris Gordon, 8 Jon Bolding, 9 Marcus Harrison, 10 Dan McLellan
Substitutes not used: 4 Ed Common, 5 Dave Lewis, 11 Tyler Reeve, 19 Brad Bates
Goals: Dan McLellan 7, 37
Bookings: Marcus Harrison 14
Meet England Powerchair squad